Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey, occasionally according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear internet instead?
Clubs have an incentive to put together winning teams not just because it's cool to get a big trophy at the end of the year, but because people don't show up to see losing teams. Conversely, they do show up to see winners, and the more winning you do in the postseason, the more money you make.
But all too often these days, teams seem content to be middling clubs that hope to win a low playoff spot and earn just a handful of home games, at best, before bowing to the vastly superior sides put together to actually win a Stanley Cup. I think the number that people spout for what a single home playoff date is worth to a team is something like $1 million, and so for some teams, making the extra two or three million for a one-round bounce-out is worth the price of admission, particularly if they're not exactly a cap team.
Of course, that's also a really cynical and ultimately self-defeating way to handle your business as a National Hockey League team — Exhibit A: The Calgary Flames, who decided they were Going For It this season and instead missed the playoffs for the third straight year despite hugging the cap ceiling — so it's often disappointing when teams resort to that. But it's a fairly common practice nonetheless.
Which is why it's so nice to see Geoff Molson on Thursday in the Canadiens' press conference say that for a team like that, simply getting into the playoffs, which they obviously won't do this year, and getting slaughtered by someone is not a good endgame. They want to build a team that doesn't want to make the playoffs, but can do some damage in them. In the past, Brian Burke has said much the same thing about his ultimate goals for the Maple Leafs.Read More »from Trending Topics: Competing from a place of weakness is a nice goal, but not a realistic one